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J. Crew's Partnership with New Balance Pushes Sneaker Collaboration to the Mainstream

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words // Nick Schonberger

J. Crew!?!? Who would have ever thought a monolithic menswear store would join the ranks of the regular sneaker collaborator? The program launched quietly—a few exclusive Nike models here and there, along with a neat selection of Vans staples—but has truly blossomed in partnership with New Balance.

The connection is fitting. The Boston-based brand bridges the gap between a sneaker-centric market and buyers spurred on by craft heritage. Initially, J. Crew and New Balance offered exclusive colorways. In 2014, the offerings have been magnified and delivered as full fledged collaborations, nicknames and all.

Following January's "Inferno," the second 998 model from J. Crew and New Balance celebrates all things America. Dubbed the "Independence Day" and made in Skowhegan, ME, the shoe carries a red, white, and blue palate perfect for fireworks season.

A limited run of J.Crew x New Balance 998 "Independence Day" will released at 10am local time on 6/14 at the Liquor Store in New York, The Grove in Los Angeles, and On Lan in Hong Kong. Special bonus: The first 20 customers also get an exclusive Ebbets Field Flannels hat. After the initial launch, the sneakers will be available in select stores in New York, Boston, LA, Costa Mesa, San Francisco, Honolulu, London, Hong Kong and at jcrewmens.com.

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